Western Addition Branch Facilities Survey

Recommended modernization improvements
Image of Western Addition Branch Library
Year Built: 1966
Architect: Appleton & Wolfard
Seismic Hazard Rating 3
Number of Stories 1
Type: Modern
Address: 1550 Scott Street
Gross Sq. Ft.: 7,308


The proposed modernization plan is to renovate the existing building while minimizing the risk associated with a major earthquake. The recommended seismic strengthening includes anchoring the roof to the perimeter walls, adding steel bracing between columns, and reinforcing existing footings as necessary. Some in-fill walls will be replaced with steel moment frames or concrete walls as necessary. Plywood sheathing will replace existing sheathing at the high and lower roofs. The risk reduction program also includes glazing replacement. The seismic project directly triggers associated disabled access, code improvements, and environmental hazard mitigation.

The building has a higher and a lower roof structure. The higher sloped roof is made of heavy timber construction supported by steel columns. A lower roof over the entry and office areas is supported by steel columns, stud walls, and concrete walls. The building envelope consists of concrete block walls, infill wood stud walls, and glazing. All walls and columns are supported by enlarged footings built into a thickened slab on grade.

Existing restrooms will be redesigned or new restrooms will be added. Service counters, work areas, and other public amenities will be made accessible.

Building code impacts involve compliance with current life safety requirements for exiting, heating, ventilation, electrical, lighting and other control systems. The existing heating system will be evaluated for possible replacement or modification.

Current law requires removal of asbestos-containing materials such as plasterboard walls, vinyl flooring, and roofing impacted by the seismic retrofit, disabled access and other renovation work. The removal of ACM's will require relocation of the building occupants during construction. The asbestos mitigation scope will be completed within three months. Lead that is impacted by construction will also be removed.

The modernization plan includes renovating the interior, and making improvements to the architectural layout of staff areas, service counters, seating, shelving, and other public amenities. Modernization work will also improve program space, and provide for additional data/electrical outlets. Other work includes building a larger mechanical room, replacing windows, and improving immediate surrounding landscape.



  1. Roof diaphragm is not well connected to framing beams.
  2. Connection between roof beams and building envelope need to be strengthened.
  3. Bays between columns need structural continuity.
  4. Foundations may need modification to tie seismic improvements together.

Non-Structural Deficiencies

  1. High glazing at north perimeter wall may become falling hazard.
  2. Stained glass above entry may become safety hazard.


  1. Replace existing roof sheathing with properly nailed plywood sheathing.
  2. Strengthen beam-to-roof and beam-to-column connections.
  3. Fill perimeter walls with braced moment frames or mass wall to resist lateral forces.
  4. Modify foundations as necessary.
  5. Replace high glazing with tempered or other type of safety glass.
  6. Protect and preserve existing stained glass, but minimize falling hazard.


  1. Except for minor striping, exterior path of travel and parking are accessible.
  2. Exterior and interior doors are not fully accessible.
  3. Path of travel is generally accessible except for workstations, and other public amenities.
  4. Restrooms are not fully accessible.


  1. Make exterior path-of-travel improvements as necessary.
  2. Make all doors, workstations, and other public amenities fully accessible.
  3. Make restrooms accessible.


  1. Existing boiler needs replacement.
  2. HVAC and air distribution system needs to be replaced.
  3. Plumbing systems need replacement.


  1. Replace boiler, HVAC equipment, and air ducts.


  1. The main panel is in need of an upgrade.
  2. The distribution system was found to be in good condition.
  3. New data line and communication distribution system is needed.


  1. Replace main panel and add sub-panels for data line and communication distribution.
  2. Upgrade power distribution system and add outlets as necessary.
  3. Add data lines as required.


  1. There are emergency lights and exiting signage.
  2. The building lacks a central fire alarm and fire extinguishers.
  3. Building has no smoke detectors.
  4. The building needs additional security grilles and security lighting.


  1. Provide additional emergency lights and additional exiting signage if required.
  2. Provide a central fire alarm system and fire extinguishers.
  3. Provide smoke detectors as required.
  4. Upgrade or add security grilles and security lighting.


  1. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) are identified throughout the building.


  1. Abate asbestos if found in the wall and ceiling sheetrock joint/tape compound, heating hot water piping and fitting insulation.
  2. Where impacted by construction, abate asbestos in built up roof, floor tile and baseboard mastic, undamaged wall/ceiling sheetrock joint/tape compound, insulating materials concealed inside the boiler unit, ceramic floor/wall tile grout and mastic and vapor barrier, exterior stucco, and fire door core insulation.
  3. Lead that is impacted by construction shall also be abated.


  1. Entry doors need replacement.
  2. Most interior finishes are outdated and in need of refurbishment.
  3. Roofing needs replacement.


  1. Replace entry doors.
  2. Replace interior finishes when impacted by renovation work.
  3. Replace roofing.


  1. Landscape immediately surrounding the building needs improvement.


  1. Improve landscape along perimeter of the building.
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